State bragging rights and regular season title is on the line

Brittany Davis won two individual events vs. the Utes last year (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- BYU will face the University of Utah on Friday with more than just state bragging rights on the line - the final meet of the regular season for both squads will determine the regular season Mountain West Conference title. The meet will begin at 6 p.m. with the Cougars traveling up to Salt Lake to face the Utes.

"I expect this meet to be tough," men's head coach Tim Powers said. "They have some outstanding swimmers and are always tough at home."

The Cougar men have been on a roll all season and have remained at a perfect 6-0 record. BYU is the highest ranked team in the MWC, currently standing at no. 19 in the country. The men could wrap up their flawless regular season with a win over the Utes for the out right title of regular season conference champion. The men are led by senior Kenny Carpenter, and sophomores Mark Chay and Brett Allen.

Since joining the team in January, Allen has captured first place finishes in both the 50 and 100 free. Chay, a member of the 2004 Singapore Olympic team and reigning MWC swimmer of the week, has already swam an NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 200 free and is second in the MWC in the 200 IM. Carpenter is second on the team in individual wins behind Chay with many of the wins coming in the 100 and 200 fly.

The Cougars will also look to garner points from their divers. Senior Scott Randall is coming off one of his best showings of the year with three first place finishes and a second place finish against the University of Wyoming and Air Force Academy. The performance earned Randall the title of MWC diver of the week.

The women's chances of a regular season conference title teeter on the outcome of the meet with the Utes. A win for the Cougars would mean a share of the regular season title, whereas a loss would mean Utah's first out right regular season conference title in 10 years. Although the stakes are high, women's swimming head coach Stan Crump is looking more at the conference championships at the end of the month in Oklahoma City.

"Our team is focused on winning a Mountain West Conference championship," Crump said. "Although we may be looking ahead I still expect our girls to get in and compete, this is our last meet and our last chance to prepare for the championships."

The women are coming off of the two biggest wins of the season with a 151.5-91.5 over Wyoming and a 154-74 score over the Falcons of the Air Force Academy. Freshman athletes shined for the Cougars in the meets with individual victories from U-Nice Chan, Jamie Bloom and Angela Nelson.

Nelson had a particularly dominant weekend with first place finishes on both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards against Wyoming and Air Force. Bloom had wins in both the 100 and 200 breast events while Chan was tops in the 200, 500 and 1000 free.

Both the men and the women came away from the meet last year with wins and will look to repeat the success of last year when the red-blue rivalry game commences Friday night at 6 p.m. in Salt Lake.